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Smackdown - March 7, 2014

Date: March 7, 2014
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're getting closer and closer to Wrestlemania with the main story coming out of Monday being the lack of CM Punk. While there's still a chance of a surprise return, it's not looking likely that he's going to come back anytime soon. Other than that we're still waiting to find out what Daniel Bryan is going to be doing at the biggest show of the year. Let's get to it.

Opening sequence.

We open with a recap of Bryan challenging HHH for a match at Wrestlemania and being beaten down by Kane, Batista, HHH and Orton to end the show.

Here's Batista to get things going. He asked where have all the real men gone in WWE and he got Dolph Ziggler on last week. Batista destroyed Ziggler and then he got Daniel Bryan on Raw with the same outcome. Bryan isn't a superhero but here he is (with a YES hoodie) to disagree. He doesn't think Batista is a hero but Batista wants to know who is. This place has gotten screwed up because it's listening to the fans.

Daniel Bryan is nothing but a big fan and he should buy a ticket to Wrestlemania and watch Batista win the title. Bryan thinks the skinny jeans are cutting off the blood flow to Batista's brain. It took four people to beat him on Monday and before they all came out, he had Batista beat. Yeah Bryan is a fan, just like everyone here. Batista says he's better than Bryan and this is now his universe.

Bryan is allowed to live in this universe but Batista is fine with taking that existence away. Daniel makes fun of Batista tattoos and clothes and the brawl is on with Batista being sent to the floor. This brings out Kane but the distraction lets Batista get in a shot from behind. Big Show makes the save and clears off the monsters. Vickie comes out and makes a tag match for later.

Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler

Alberto is on commentary. Ziggler takes Christian down to start and swivels his hips a bit. Christian slaps him in the face and the brawl heads to the mat with Ziggler dropping a string of elbows. They head outside with Ziggler being sent into the steps as we take a break. Back with Christian holding a chinlock while laying on Ziggler's back. Dolph fights up but is quickly slammed back onto the mat. Del Rio is pleased with Christian's new attitude as the Canadian puts on a chinlock.

Christian goes for the sunset flip out of the corner but gets dropkicked out of the air in a nice counter. Dolph hammers away and gets a delayed two off a neckbreaker. The Killswitch is countered with Ziggler jumping over Christian's back followed by the jumping DDT for two. Dolph can't hit the Zig Zag but he does get a middle rope X-Factor. Del Rio gets on the announce table and shouts at Ziggler, allowing Christian to hit the Killswitch for the pin at 9:05.

Rating: C. Gah enough with the guy standing on the table and shouting for a DQ. I guess that's the evolution of someone coming down to ringside because heaven forbid we have ANYTHING other than a distraction for a win. Ziggler looked good out there, which is why he jobbed of course.

Post match Christian is about to talk about attacking Sheamus but here's the Irishman himself to beat down Christian. A Brogue Kick misses and Christian runs up the ramp.

We look at the Usos winning the titles on Raw.

Usos vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

Non-title. Jey starts with Axel and is immediately dragged to the corner for a tag to Ryback. The Usos score with a series of chops but Axel low bridges Jimmy out to the floor. Axel hammers away on the chest and drops an elbow for good measure. Ryback cranks on the arm a bit as the announcers talk about malaria. Jimmy comes back with chops to Ryback and a Bubba Bomb followed by a Samoan drop. Everything breaks down and the double superkick followed by the Superfly Splash take care of Ryback at 4:20.

Rating: C-. This was fine and a good way for the new champions to get to show off. There's always a chemistry with real brothers that you just don't get with other teams. They should have won the titles years ago but it was worth the wait as they look good as champions out there.

We look back at Heyman's promo and Brock destroying Henry on Raw. Only the portion about Undertaker vs. Lesnar was shown and Punk wasn't mentioned.

Kane thinks Bryan's luck runs out tonight. Bryan has delusions of grandeur such as challenging HHH to a match at Wrestlemania, so tonight he'll shove Bryan's beard down his throat.

Tamina Snuka/AJ Lee vs. Natalya/Eva Marie

Eva armdrags Tamina down to start but AJ gets in a shot from the apron, allowing Tamina to take over. The heels take over on Eva in the corner with AJ kicking her in the ribs. We hit the chinlock from the champion but Eva crawls away and makes the tag off to Natalya. Nattie cleans house and slams AJ down before hitting a discus lariat on Tamina. The Sharpshooter gets the submission from AJ at 3:57.

Rating: D. Of the 758 times we've done this same match and story now, this is the most recent.

Tamina stares the winners down post match but nothing comes of it.

Paul Bear Hall of Fame video.

Here are Reigns and Ambrose for a Shield Summit. Dean says he can take whatever physical pain that comes with being on this team but what he can't take is being lied to. He was lied to for the last 18 months because he believed that all three of them were in this together. Then Seth Rollins walked out this past Monday night, so he needs to get out here right now and settle things.

Rollins comes down the ramp and Reigns says this better be good. Seth says Monday wasn't the best time to do what he did during a war with the Wyatts. The war is within themselves and not with the Wyatt Family. However, he sacrificed himself on Monday to get through the Wyatts as he always does. Ambrose doesn't want to hear that and says he does that every night but doesn't walk out. Reigns isn't pleased either and Seth says that's the point: for the first time in months the two of them are seeing things the same way.

Rollins says the three of them can walk out right now and go their separate ways but there's strength together. They've taken apart everyone they've seen over the last year and a half so let's keep this together and take this place apart. Dean shoves Rollins down but Seth shoves him right back.

Seth says he knows what's going to make him feel better so he slaps Dean to the mat. He offers to let Dean give him one right back and Ambrose does it before Rollins is done talking. Reigns is just watching. Rollins asks if we're done here or if we're done. He puts out his fist and Reigns does the same. Ambrose thinks about it and puts his fist out as well to a nice pop from the audience. Cool segment but this is far from over.

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

Sheamus has a bad arm coming in. Del Rio goes after the injury but is easily clotheslined to the floor with the good arm. The rolling fireman's carry on the floor has Alberto in even more trouble and Sheamus rams him into the barricade.  They head back inside for a few seconds before rolling outside again.  Del Rio sends the arm into the steps to take over and we take a break. Back with Del Rio hitting the running enziguri in the corner for two. An armbar goes nowhere and Del Rio misses a charge to the ropes and gets clotheslined.

Sheamus goes up but Alberto goes after the arm, only to get caught by the ten forearms to the chest. Alberto snaps the arm over the ropes and hits the low superkick for a very close two count. Sheamus breaks up the armbreaker and hits a running knee lift followed by the Irish Curse for two. A second attempt at the armbreaker goes on but Sheamus rolls over and powerbombs his way out of the hold. Alberto grabs the arm again but Sheamus gets his foot in the ropes. Back up and the Brogue Kick gets the pin at 7:36 shown of 11:06.

Rating: C. Not a bad match for the most part but as always I didn't see feel any drama over the armbreaker at all because Sheamus is one of those guys that never taps out. The more I see these guys the more I'm thinking they put Sheamus and Ziggler together against Christian and Del Rio at Wrestlemania.

The Wyatts want to know why John Cena keeps doing this stuff. Cena feels the need to feel some void in his life. What would John be without his legacy? Bray's father was the war, his brother was the snare that forced him to watch, his mother was the hard road and the world is his teacher. Once he takes care of John Cena, he just wants to stand back and warm his hands as it burns. Follow the buzzards.

The expert panel of Booker T., Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Alex Riley recap the show thus far.

Batista says tonight Bryan has to face the reality that there's nothing special about him.

Lana brings out Rusev for his usual Bulgarian promo.

Daniel Bryan says HHH isn't a real man because he keeps hiding behind anything he can to avoid a match at Wrestlemania. Big Show comes in and asks if he should get some skinny jeans to get people to be scared of him. They're naming themselves Respect the Beard, Fear the Giant.

Kane/Batista vs. Daniel Bryan/Big Show

Kane takes Bryan into the corner and drops him with an elbow to the jaw. Bryan takes him into the corner as well for a tag to Big Show for heavy right hands and chops. Kane avoids a charge into the corner and tags in Batista but Big Show counters a suplex into a double DDT called a double suplex. The villains roll outside and the FLYING GOAT puts both guys down as we take a break. Back with Big Show chopping Batista against the ropes before it's back to Bryan for kicks to the chest.

Kane gets knocked off the apron and Bryan nails Batista with the YES Kicks. Big Dave ducks the last kick and spinebusters Bryan down for two. Back to Kane who loads up a superplex but Bryan knocks him off and hits the missile dropkick. Batista gets another tag and drives Bryan hard into the corner.

Back in and Batista runs him over with a tackle but Bryan escapes the Batista Bomb and kicks Batista's head off. The hot tag brings in Big Show who cleans house on the also legal Kane. Bryan gets two off a swan dive and everything breaks down. Kane tries the chokeslam but Bryan counters into a sunset flip with Big Show knocking Kane out to give Daniel the pin at 10:42.

Rating: C. This was your standard main event tag team match which doesn't really change anything. Hopefully Big Show doesn't come back into the main event scene because I think we're all still recovering from his acting last fall. Bryan getting another pin will help but he needs the pin on Batista to change the title scene.

Overall Rating: C-. We're firmly back into Smackdown being meaningless this week. Some matches happened, some angles were reenforced, nothing new really happens. I mean, it's not the worst way to spend two hours but there's nothing you need to watch at all. That's a shame too as Smackdown had been fun lately but this was just there for the most part.

One more note: there was a Big E. vs. Jack Swagger match taped but there was no mention of it here. Big E. won and the Real Americans had more issues after the match.

Christian b. Dolph Ziggler – Killswitch
Usos b. Ryback/Curtis Axel – Superfly Splash to Ryback
Natalya/Eva Marie b. Tamina Snuka/AJ Lee – Sharpshooter to Lee
Sheamus b. Alberto Del Rio – Brogue Kick
Big Show/Daniel Bryan b. Kane/Batista – Rollup to Kane

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